An easy Caprese Pasta Salad recipe that makes a quick bbq side dish or an appetizer for any party. Caprese Pasta Salad is made with pasta, fresh grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil. It's tossed with a simple balsamic and olive oil dressing and sprinkled with salt and black pepper. It's light and refreshing and loved by both kids and adults!
Now that the weather is really picking up the heat, it truly feels like tomato season! I absolutely love the summer farmer markets, when tomatoes are at their freshest and their garden-sweet aroma fills the air. That time is almost here, so we will be making lots of fresh tomato recipes, and caprese pasta salad will be on regular weekly rotation. Along with simple caprese salad recipes all summer long, I love making a quick, light fresh tomato sauce with market fresh tomatoes. Yum!
Caprese pasta salad is so simple and so light and tasty. It also looks elegant when served and makes for a truly appetizing bbq side dish for all of your summer parties or picnics.
What is Caprese?
Caprese refers to fresh tomato, basil, and mozzarella and is traditionally speaking of a salad. A traditional caprese salad pairs fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil and is drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Sometimes arugula is added to a caprese salad for extra zing.
Classic caprese salad recipes are fresh, delicious, and incredibly simple to prepare.
You can make a simple caprese plate of sliced mozzarella topped with a tomato and basil, then drizzled with olive oil. Not only is this an easy appetizer for bbqs and parties that literally takes minutes to prepare, but it is beautiful to look at. The bright green, red, and white hues really pop off the plate!
I hope that you and your family enjoy this caprese pasta salad recipe as much as mine does. Please let me know what you thought in the comments, and follow me on Pinterest for the latest recipes.
Ingredients in Caprese Pasta Salad
This caprese pasta salad recipe uses fresh grape tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella pearls, and bow tie pasta. You can use any other pasta that you have on hand if you don't have bow ties. Short pastas are perfect for pasta salad recipes. While I love these Bel Gioioso fresh mozzarella pearls, you can also slice fresh mozzarella into little cubes.
These classic caprese ingredients are tossed with salt, black pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. While balsamic vinegar is not a traditional caprese ingredient, I use it here to give this pasta salad recipe a little something more. You can, however, make your caprese pasta salad without the balsamic vinegar if you'd prefer a more classic version.
How do you make Caprese Pasta Salad?
Making this caprese pasta salad recipe is quite simple.
First, boil the pasta.
While pasta cooks, slice the tomatoes in half and saute for 5 minutes. You can skip this step. I like to saute the tomatoes to release some of their juices, which I then add to the pasta salad. But it is totally fine if you prefer not to do this. It will taste wonderful either way!
When the pasta and tomatoes are cooked, place them in a large serving dish with the mozzarella pearls.
Add the torn basil leaves, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix everything well and you're done!
Serve your delicious caprese pasta salad as an appetizer, a bbq side dish, or a vegetarian lunch or dinner.
Caprese Pasta Salad with Balsamic & Olive Oil
- 12 oz short pasta (bow ties)
- 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup mozzarella pearls or cubes
- ¼ cup torn basil leaves
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Boil the pasta in salted water.
- Slice the tomatoes in halve and saute for 5 minutes, until soft (skip this step if you prefer uncooked tomatoes)
- When pasta and tomatoes are cooked, combine them with the mozzarella. Toss with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and torn basil.
Serving and Storing
This recipe serves 6-8 as an appetizer or bbq side dish. As a full lunch or dinner, it will serve 4 people.
Make it ahead of time and store in the fridge overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving. This pasta salad recipe doesn't keep too long in the fridge. About 3 days is the longest I would store it.